Wednesday, 28 March 2012

*ALERT ALERT TENNIS GEEK INCOMING*

Yes, that would be me. I am a tennis geek/fanatic/nerd/awful amateur player.

I play online tennis games, have a proper computer tennis game which cost me real money, I watch old tennis clips on Youtube and I occasionally even browse online tennis forums, which are really funny as they are in a perpetual state of cyber-conflict over whether Nadal or Federer is better, virtual battlelines drawn between "Nadaltards" and "Fedtards" who then engage in all out "Flame Wars". The Question normally so heatedly "debated" is, of course, "Who will end up being the Goat?"

This is not some strange tennis euphemism, but an acronym, standing for "Greatest Of All Time".

I even occasionally pick up the racket and go to the local courts at Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow's West End.

And of course, I pledge my unwavering support to Scotland's main man.

Mon Andy, FOCUS!
I've been following assiduously the pesky bugger's attempts to win a Grand Slam since the US Open 2008, where he came so tantalisingly close, defeating Rafael Nadal in a thrilling two-day four-set encounter only to fold to Federer in the final.

Now I follow him in everything, from the wee tournaments up to the Masters and of course right up to the Slams.

So a word on his current form - following his semi-final loss to Djokovic at the Australian Open in January, Andy finally seems to have bucked his two-year trend of going into a God-awful slump following his Australian Open losses. Last year, following Australia he lost in the first round of every tournament until the clay season. The year before wasn't much better. This time round, he reached the final in Dubai immediately post-Oz, beating Djokovic and World #7 Tomas Berdych en route and losing only to an in-form Federer. He suffered a surprise first-round defeat in the Indian Wells Masters, raising the spectre of the last couple of years, but at this week's Miami Masters he has roundly consigned that trend to the dustbin of history.

He is now into the Quarter Finals of Miami, having dismissed Gilles Simon in straight sets. He now, by all accounts, has a very good chance to win, and sweep up a lot of ranking points, given his shoddy performances at this part of the season last year. Federer, the next rank above, has been unfortunately racking up the points with even more zeal than Andy, only just yesterday knocked off a 16-match winning streak by no less than Andy Roddick - notable for his terrible head-to-head record against Federer. With the in-form Federer no longer in the mix, this Masters has opened up. Murray has shown he can beat both Djokovic and Nadal in this format and on these types of courts pretty handily in the recent past.

He plays Janko Tipsarevic next, though - he is no slouch. If I was a betting man, I'd be careful to only wager modest sums on this one.

That's all for Tennis Geekery today.

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